Let's be friendly to our allies

post by JGWeissman · 2012-08-15T04:02:43.977Z · score: 25 (68 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 47 comments

Less Wrong was created to produce rationalists, so that many causes could benefit from the efforts of those rationalists. The point is not just to have nice place to talk about rationality, but to really make ourselves stronger, to apply the lessons that we learn here to improve our own lives, and to improve the world.

80,000 Hours is an organization created to provide direct domain specific help to people who want to support charitable causes, the same causes Less Wrong is supposed to produce rationalists to support. 80,000 Hours has goals clearly aligned with ours. Provided we think they are pursuing their aligned goals effectively, we should be excited about this. We should be happy when they reach out to us, to see how we can work together.

So, I am very disappointed to see the negative reception of a Less Wrong post by 80,000 Hours member Benjamin Todd, asking us what questions we would like 80,000 Hours to answer for us. They are basically offering to do free research for us on things that we care about, because our goals are aligned. And yet, as of this writing, that post has a score of -7, and it has received comments complaining that it is an ad. To be clear, ads of the sort that we want to avoid do not offer free services relevant to a core purpose of our community. I won't argue whether or not the post was an ad, but I will say that it belongs on Less Wrong and we should give it a good reception.

I would like to thank Benjamin Todd and others at 80,000 hours for their work in helping people be more effective philanthropists and otherwise support important causes, and for engaging Less Wrong in this project. I also thank everyone who responded to post with their actual questions about making a difference.

And, please, can we be nice to people who help us?

47 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by drethelin · 2012-08-15T05:47:28.016Z · score: 21 (25 votes) · LW · GW

Ignoring for the moment whether or not that was a high quality post or a post that we want to be on lesswrong, I strongly disapprove of upvoting low quality or unwanted posts simply to be nice to someone.

comment by Viliam_Bur · 2012-08-15T07:56:03.809Z · score: 15 (19 votes) · LW · GW

Exactly. The voting system has an important role on this website. We should not abuse it because of something unrelated to its original role, because then it will be more difficult to use.

This said, we definitely should be friendly to 80,000 Hours, and here are a few quick ideas how to do it, without abusing the article voting system:

  • put a 80,000 Hours banner on LW homepage;

  • put a link to 80,000 Hours on the right side of LW screens;

  • put an RSS feed of 80,000 Hours on the right side of LW screens (like Overcoming Bias has now);

  • integrate RSS feed of 80,000 Hours with LW "Discussion" page; at the top it could display visually separated "Articles from friendly sites", for example top 3 articles from each;

  • create an "Announcement" area on LW homepage where people from 80,000 Hours can put their message of limited length.

Each of these ideas (and you can think about some new ones) would provide 80,000 Hours visibility on LW homepage, without asking LW readers to compromise the LW voting system. Link to friends are OK -- just not in the LW article queue.

We could use this discussion to brainstorm the best way to promote 80,000 Hours (and other friendly sites) on LW.

comment by jsteinhardt · 2012-08-15T17:04:28.418Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Should we apply the same logic to local LW meetup announcements? If not, what is different?

comment by OrphanWilde · 2012-08-15T17:15:40.976Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

I think we should. Personally, I was put off for years from joining Less Wrong when it split off from Overcoming Bias because everytime I looked the home page was nothing but meetup announcements.

comment by Benquo · 2012-08-16T02:02:14.082Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Interesting - I don't remember meetup announcements until a couple of years after the split.

comment by OrphanWilde · 2012-08-16T11:42:34.607Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I wasn't an active reader during the split - life had intervened. Indeed, for a while there I incorrectly believed Overcoming Bias had renamed itself Less Wrong following a redesign.

comment by drethelin · 2012-08-15T17:17:17.352Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Local Meetup announcements are useful information promoting something we want that appears nowhere else. But I would still support them not being on discussion page if there was another space for them.

comment by Viliam_Bur · 2012-08-16T07:02:46.461Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Redesigning the article categories would be useful. "Main" and "Discussion" are not enough for the amount and structure of articles we have now.

A possible solution is "Top Articles", "Articles", "Forum" -- the last category for meetups and recurrent topics.

comment by David_Gerard · 2012-08-21T09:41:53.809Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

People have complained before about the post list being overwhelmed with meetup announcements.

comment by JGWeissman · 2012-08-15T12:59:56.812Z · score: 1 (13 votes) · LW · GW

I strongly disapprove of upvoting low quality or unwanted posts simply to be nice to someone

I agree. Upvoting low quality posts is not what I am recommending. I maintain that the post in question was not low quality, but a generous invitation well suited to our community, and that dismissing it as an ad was a bad response.

comment by Patrick · 2012-08-15T13:05:36.486Z · score: 2 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Advertisements can offer useful things. The free CDs given out by AOL can be erased and used to store data. Less Wrong is not a place to get "generous invitations", it's a place to read information and arguments to do with rationality. An invitation to a black tie dinner is a thoughtful gesture, but asking "What the heck is this doing on Less Wrong"? is an appropriate response to such a gesture.

comment by othercriteria · 2012-08-15T22:45:55.417Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The free CDs given out by AOL can be erased and used to store data.

I don't think this is true. It's cheaper and more reliable to stamp a few million CD-ROMs from a master than it is to get each of them spinning, fire a laser at them, and then make them stop spinning.

comment by CronoDAS · 2012-08-16T04:49:35.479Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think this is true.

Me neither.

comment by lukeprog · 2012-08-15T05:10:46.712Z · score: 15 (17 votes) · LW · GW

Note that I did an interview for 80k, and SI researcher Carl Shulman has put in dozens of hours helping 80k.

The Singularity Institute, at least, is very friendly to 80k. (In fact, I refer to them so often in daily speech that I have to just call them "80k" instead of "Eighty thousand hours dot org".)

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-15T12:54:02.741Z · score: 7 (23 votes) · LW · GW

Kimochi warui.

I won't argue whether or not the post was an ad, but I will say that it belongs on Less Wrong and we should give it a good reception.

It was reasonably icky when SI started posting job openings in the discussion section -- particularly when they were trying to hire people to do work that was at the time done by volunteers.

It's even ickier now that "our friends" (and who is that "us" in your post, anyway?) are allowed to post badly written copy, together with a whole other discussion post attempting to guilt trip people into upvoting it.

This sentence quoted above is particularly icky. I stand by my comment -- even if those who originally upvoted it have changed their mind -- because it was an ad, even if it was an ad for a free service. Google manages to advertise Chrome, after all.

This is really sickening.

comment by wedrifid · 2012-08-15T15:42:01.678Z · score: 0 (10 votes) · LW · GW

This sentence quoted above is particularly icky. I stand by my comment -- even if those who originally upvoted it have changed their mind -- because it was an ad, even if it was an ad for a free service. Google manages to advertise Chrome, after all.

This is really sickening.

I agree entirely. I was disgusted by the post and the response

comment by Randaly · 2012-08-15T17:01:14.904Z · score: -2 (14 votes) · LW · GW

You aren't engaging with jgweissman's core argument- that the post definitely belongs on LW, as it's useful, related to LW's core mission, by a related group, and offering free services to us. Whether or not its an ad is not relevant. (It's irrelevant even by the most generous possible interpretation of community standards- we routinely have ads for unrelated and commercial products/services, to the extent that there was a highly upvoted official thread for them.) I see this as using Dark Arts to attack a common cause.

You're also using inaccurate ad hominems- how is this in any way a guilt trip? Why are you conflating jgweissman with 80K? (While he is a member, I feel quite confident he joined after the previous post. I know for sure that he joined after August 8th.)

Edited in response to mwengler

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-15T18:39:20.300Z · score: 6 (10 votes) · LW · GW

On the contrary, JGW posted this top-level post partly in response to my original comment (there were no others calling it an ad at the time, despite his use of the plural). Within it, he explicitly ignores my point:

I won't argue whether or not the post was an ad, but I will say that it belongs on Less Wrong and we should give it a good reception.

The main reason I gave for saying it did not belong on LW was that it was an ad, and a poorly written one at that!

(It's irrelevant even by the most generous possible interpretation of community standards- we routinely have ads for unrelated and commercial products/services, to the extent that there was a highly upvoted official thread for them.)

I also think those ads are abuses of the discussion section, even when they are posted by the SI itself, and I have argued against them in the past, to little avail.

You're also using inaccurate ad hominems- how is this in any way a guilt trip?

What else do you call it when someone complains about downvotes, in order to receive upvotes?

This is becoming somewhat silly. I've already wasted more time arguing against the post than time I would ever possibly save from discussion being ad-free.

comment by Randaly · 2012-08-15T19:37:02.500Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

On the contrary, JGW posted this top-level post partly in response to my original comment (there were no others calling it an ad at the time, despite his use of the plural). Within it, he explicitly ignores my point:

I won't argue whether or not the post was an ad, but I will say that it belongs on Less Wrong and we should give it a good reception.

The principle reason I give for saying it did not belong on LW was that it was an ad, and a poorly written one at that!

I'm sorry, I misunderstood what you thought JGW was saying. Here's how I interpreted it: The question of whether or not it's an ad is a matter of semantics; such arguments are almost never useful, and JGW quite rightly, IMHO, decided not to get involved in one.

Claiming that the post was an ad sneaks in a couple of connotations, most notably that it is poor quality, that it is not useful for LW members, that it is designed to profit the advertiser by manipulating readers in detrimental ways, etc. (Or, more broadly, that no ad belongs on LW.) JGW addressed those connotations directly, instead of getting mired in a debate about definitions: "We should be happy when they reach out to us, to see how we can work together... They are basically offering to do free research for us on things that we care about, because our goals are aligned...." (If that post was an ad, and it belonged on LW, then clearly some ads belong on LW.) Your response then pointed out that "it was an ad."

What else do you call it when someone complains about downvotes, in order to receive upvotes?

JGW had not been downvoted before; I do not see the above post as being designed to produce guilt; the majority of the target audience had not downvoted the post in question; I don't see how the goal of this post was upvotes, as opposed to a changed community norm.

comment by mwengler · 2012-08-15T17:31:00.048Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Each of you claims this is sickening. Each of you is exaggerating. This is not conducive to rational discussion, is it?

comment by JGWeissman · 2012-08-15T17:46:15.723Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I don't see where Randaly called anything "sickening" (maybe a different comment than the one you are responding to? or pre edit?). I have gone so far as to call poor reception "disappointing", which I would not say is an exaggeration.

I don't agree with the equivalency of arguments you are implying.

comment by Randaly · 2012-08-15T17:53:19.456Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I edited out that part, since I think mwengler had a good point: it added nothing to my argument and was insulting. I also slightly edited the tone of the rest of the comment, but didn't change anything of substance.

comment by JGWeissman · 2012-08-15T17:42:32.411Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Why are you conflating jgweissman with 80K? (While he is a member, I feel quite confident he joined after the previous post. I know for sure that he joined after August 8th.)

You are correct. I just joined, at about the same time I wrote the post. My prior involvement with 80K was discussing career advancement with Carl Shulman, which may been in part informed by his work for them.

comment by Kindly · 2012-08-15T20:42:19.305Z · score: 6 (18 votes) · LW · GW

I wasn't aware that when I began posting here, I automatically acquired "allies" whose posts I'm not allowed to downvote.

comment by jsteinhardt · 2012-08-16T01:29:46.843Z · score: 4 (10 votes) · LW · GW

No one is telling you that you aren't allowed to downvote them. JGWeissman is merely suggesting that social welfare is maximized if the rationalist and effective altruism communities are encouraged to intermingle, rather than downvoting each other to oblivion.

comment by Viliam_Bur · 2012-08-16T07:35:13.367Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

The downvoting was related to the poor content of the article. It was essentially this:

How can you best use your time to make a difference?
Discuss.
Sincerely, 80,000 Hours

If the same article would be written by someone else, I would recommend them to ask the same question in the Open Thread. Should I vote differently just because of the person who wrote it? So now voting about articles is no longer about their quality, but becomes a political question?

Our allies are also expected to follow the local rules. We could make exception if this were the first article about 80,000 Hours on LW, so the main information of the article would be "80,000 Hours exists", but obviously that's not the case. The best way to promote friendship with our allies, is to write articles about them that actually provide information. For example, I would upvote a well-written article about "What is 80,000 Hours, what are their goals, and what exactly did they accomplish in the recent year". Because such article would contain interesting information.

comment by jsteinhardt · 2012-08-16T09:29:08.035Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

If the same article would be written by someone else, I would recommend them to ask the same question in the Open Thread. Should I vote differently just because of the person who wrote it?

I would suggest that instead of downvoting until no one can see the post, you explain to them how to make their post better. I'm not even asking you to upvote, I'm just asking you not to hide important content, or if you do, at least constructively help your ally make better content. Even if LessWrong is aware of 80,000 Hours, the staff at 80,000 Hours might not be super-familiar with LessWrong, and so might accidentally violate certain local norms. Punishing them for this, rather than helpfully correcting them, is what seems counterproductive to me. Once you explain the norms, then you should feel totally free to criticize things that don't adhere to them.

So now voting about articles is no longer about their quality, but becomes a political question?

Basically everything you do has political repercussions. Insisting otherwise will probably lead to poor results.

comment by Kindly · 2012-08-16T12:35:55.278Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

The problem is I would rather spend my time discussing posts I like rather than critiquing posts I don't like. In this case, I saw that someone had already started the meta-discussion, so I downvoted and didn't pursue the matter further.

I am sorry that this hurts someone else's agenda. But I don't want to be a part of that game. And I don't appreciate efforts to guilt me into taking part.

comment by handoflixue · 2012-08-16T22:32:28.531Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

And I don't appreciate efforts to guilt me into taking part.

I don't think he's trying to guilt you, he's just offering reasoning and discussion for his own stance. He's providing more information than a simple down vote, and I think that should be applauded.

I will admit the original post could have probably been written better, but I don't think we should be discouraging someone from questioning voting - especially when they're willing to engage in discourse, provide feedback, and suggest alternatives. It's an essential dialogue to keeping our garden well tended, even if his tone was a bit accusative ("I'm disappointed" instead of "Hey, what's going on here?")

comment by Kindly · 2012-08-17T00:00:52.889Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I don't have a problem with people talking about upvotes and downvotes (well, actually, I do have a problem with it in many cases, especially when it's replacing what could be actual discussion, but that's not what's going on here, so it's beside the point). It's the argument in this post that bothers me, and that's what I'm trying to address here.

comment by Benjamin_Todd · 2012-08-16T20:52:50.766Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

that sounds about right!

comment by JGWeissman · 2012-08-16T15:37:25.100Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

It was essentially this:

How can you best use your time to make a difference? Discuss. Sincerely, 80,000 Hours

I don't see how you got that summary. Benjamin Todd was not looking to start a vague discussion. He was looking to gather questions important to people trying to make a difference so that people 80K could research well thought out answers to those questions. This is a simple but important step in guiding ongoing research to focus on answering questions that matter, and we should not expect great depth in the presentation of this step. The in-depth, well written articles may come after questions have been gathered. If you want to see what they have written on research they have already done, look around on their site.

So, the way I would summarise is:

We are doing research on effective ways of making a difference in the world. Let us know what questions you have about how to make a difference, and we will see if we can focus some of our research efforts on answering your question.

I hope you will give it another look, and try to judge it not as a polished stand alone contribution, which it is not trying to be, but as an important step in a process that produces a valuable contribution.

(And though I swamped with many projects, I will see if I can write the article you are looking for, or find the right person to write it.)

comment by komponisto · 2012-08-16T07:07:55.064Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW
comment by wedrifid · 2012-08-15T16:52:40.175Z · score: 4 (32 votes) · LW · GW

Let's be friendly to our allies

I am. What this post seems to be doing is trying to place yourself outside that category. I am part of no group that encourages copy and paste PR posts being dumped on lesswrong.

And yet, as of this writing, that post has a score of -7, and it has received comments complaining that it is an ad.

You seem to be admitting that you are writing this post with full awareness of the context. That obviates any benefit of the doubt. It also makes the misrepresentation (or perhaps 'spin') in the earlier part of that paragraph qualify as disingenuous.

All I see here is a bunch of cheap "Yay altruism" applause, some moralizing and a demand that users ignore details and quality of an actual post because they have some kind of external status that you wish to affiliate with. I really wish lesswrong were not as susceptible to influences.

And, please, can we be nice to people who help us?

You are hindering us. More than that, you are drawing attention to one terrible (pseodo-)contribution and away from any actual contribution by this Todd fellow or about the 80k folks.

If you want to actually provide a useful benefit to a group you like then don't try to shame us into supporting trash. Instead, write your own well researched post directly evaluating either 80k itself or one of the causes or activities that it engages with.

comment by JGWeissman · 2012-08-15T17:33:15.812Z · score: 3 (15 votes) · LW · GW

You are judging a post meant to gather questions, a survey, against the standard for presenting original research. We are talking about initial engagement, getting a sense of which questions we want answered.

If there was confusion about who 80K is, or about what sort of questions they are looking for, then it would be good to ask. What happened people dismissed it as an ad.

What this post seems to be doing is trying to place yourself outside that category.

That makes no sense.

I am part of no group that encourages copy and paste PR posts being dumped on lesswrong.

Oh no! They posted the same offer elsewhere on the internet! And you accuse me of moralizing. I am sick of your hypocracy. Learn to evaluate your own arguments as harshly as you evaluate those you disagree with.

All I see here is a bunch of cheap "Yay altruism" applause

So if I remind people that Less Wrong was founded with altruistic purposes, and that content that helps us be effectively altruistic is in fact on topic when people try to dismiss as ad spam, I am just using applause lights, according you.

And, please, can we be nice to people who help us?

You are hindering us. More than that, you are drawing attention to one terrible (pseodo-)contribution and away from any actual contribution by this Todd fellow or about the 80k folks.

This does not make sense as a response to the quote.

If you want to actually provide a useful benefit to a group you like then don't try to shame us into supporting trash.

I disagree with this characterization of my post.

Instead, write your own well researched post directly evaluating either 80k itself or one of the causes or activities that it engages with.

Yeah, that would have been better. I did what I have time for. I have a lot of other things going on. And there was this huge disconnect between how Luke Muelhauser and Carl Shulman were interacting with 80K, as opposed to Less Wrong in general.

Wedrifid, I really don't like getting into these exchanges with you. You seem to have more time for it, and it is an effort to distangle your clever arguments. You seem to think that you can deliberately mislead people and still be honest. And I find it painfully ironic when you accuse me of intellectual dishonesty.

So, I stand by my assertion that it is worth engaging with 80K by providing them with questions we would like them to answer, and if you don't agree, you can just let those of us who want to be involved do so, without erroneous complaints about spam.

comment by wedrifid · 2012-08-15T20:04:44.841Z · score: 3 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Wedrifid, I really don't like getting into these exchanges with you.

I don't recall having any significant exchanges with you---I don't doubt that it could have happened.

It may be useful for you to consider that this exchange is yours. You took the podium at the forum (in the traditional sense) and made a speech denouncing your enemies, supporting your allies and advocating a certain ideas. Then many people (in this case myself among them) replied with their own denunciations, support or advocacy. A good rule of thumb is that when you tell a group of people not to do what they have chosen to do you will get some replies, unless for some reason you have the power to suppress dissent. You don't have to reply to them. You don't even have to read them---you are not the primary audience and nobody really expects to convince the original speaker that they are wrong. But the replies will (and should) be made nonetheless.

You seem to have more time for it

I sincerely wish I did. There is a lot going on in the dynamics of this situation that relates to and threatens virtues and ideals that I value and---at least on lesswrong where it is usually safe to do so---hold sacred. If I wanted to protect those ideals effectively I would of course have to go ahead and write my own post but for me writing eloquent posts takes a lot of time and initiative.

You seem to think that you can deliberately mislead people and still be honest.

That is one way to be sure I remember you. The misleading usage of out of context quotes. I tend to recall all those who use this particular interpersonal tactic, whether against myself or others. Call it a pet peeve. Sometimes I've even provided an iterating counter. In this case I completely endorse the comment you link to. It is a straightforward renunciation of inflationary use of terms.

So, I stand by my assertion that it is worth engaging with 80K by providing them with questions we would like them to answer

Nobody (that I have noticed) has said anything to the contrary. I stand by Eliezer's exhortation:

"You have the downvote. Use it or USENET."

comment by Wei_Dai · 2012-08-16T00:25:30.391Z · score: 15 (15 votes) · LW · GW

There is a lot going on in the dynamics of this situation that relates to and threatens virtues and ideals that I value and---at least on lesswrong where it is usually safe to do so---hold sacred. If I wanted to protect those ideals effectively I would of course have to go ahead and write my own post but for me writing eloquent posts takes a lot of time and initiative.

I would like to better understand why you and others are reacting so strongly to both Todd's post and JGWeissman's. I think I may have said this before, but I really wish you'd write more posts relative to comments so you can explain your ideas more systematically.

The misleading usage of out of context quotes. I tend to recall all those who use this particular interpersonal tactic, whether against myself or others. Call it a pet peeve.

Have you considered that they may not be deliberately quoting you misleadingly, but genuinely misunderstood your comments? In other words communicating is hard (inferential distance, etc) and it may be partly your fault that you're being misleadingly quoted so often? I think I've very rarely if ever been misleadingly quoted out of context, and attribute that at least in part to wording my comments and posts very carefully and often providing caveats against possible misunderstandings.

comment by Randaly · 2012-08-15T17:33:57.763Z · score: -2 (16 votes) · LW · GW

All I see here is a bunch of cheap "Yay altruism" applause, some moralizing and a demand that users ignore details and quality of an actual post because they have some kind of external status that you wish to affiliate with.

The overwhelming majority of LW users appear to agree that the post was in fact useful and high quality. You would probably be more persuasive if, in this argument over whether the post was in fact valuable, you provided arguments. As is, you are asserting that it was terrible and then acting like jgweissman's differing opinion is a betrayal of a community norm.

The linked "context" is not useful- it is literally false (there have been no recent adverts for 80K), its description of the post as an ad is debatable, and it's sneaking in the connotation that all ads are bad and don't belong here. (The claim that is is a PR post is similarly both debatable and sneaking in connotations.)

comment by wedrifid · 2012-08-15T20:18:37.101Z · score: 7 (11 votes) · LW · GW

The overwhelming majority of LW users appear to agree that the post was in fact useful and high quality.

Let's put aside my rejection of that assertion for a second and consider the implications.

The entire basis of and motivation for JGWeissman's post was that people downvoted and criticised the post in question. Why is it that the current positive vote is somehow important and to be deferred to while the earlier negative vote was something to criticize, judge and change? Is the group consensus valuable only if, and to the extent that it happens to match your preferences?

comment by prase · 2012-08-16T06:30:17.811Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

The overwhelming majority of LW users appear to agree that the post was in fact useful and high quality.

I object to this statement. The current karma of that post is as well explained by people reading this post trusting JGWeissman and hastily upvoting that post to compensate for the community's "unfriendliness to allies". Given that it once stood at -7, this is at least as plausible theory as yours.

(I wouldn't object if you have omitted the word "overwhelming", though.)

comment by drethelin · 2012-08-15T17:39:19.897Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

If it ends up voted positive, why are we even having this conversation? Are we gonna make a big post whenever someone downvotes something that most people like? This is even worse than people who get downvoted and then complain about persecution or make a big fuss about it.

The community norm isn't about the quality of posts, it's about whether it's fine to downvote things.

comment by Randaly · 2012-08-15T18:00:20.583Z · score: -3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

The community norm isn't about the quality of posts, it's about whether it's fine to downvote things.

Sorry for the lack of clarity- I was referring to norms regarding disagreement and honesty. I interpreted Wedrifid as saying that jgweissman had violated them, given these passages:

What this post seems to be doing is trying to place yourself outside [the category of our allies]

[T]he misrepresentation (or perhaps 'spin') in the earlier part of that paragraph qualif[ies] as disingenuous.

All I see here is a bunch of cheap "Yay altruism" applause, some moralizing and a demand that users ignore details and quality of an actual post because they have some kind of external status that you wish to affiliate with.

You are hindering us.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-15T13:19:07.304Z · score: 4 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Is 80K going to research my question? It has the most up votes.

comment by Bruno_Coelho · 2012-08-15T12:13:51.278Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

In some cases, be nice with someone makes them to maintain epistemic states their future self probably not want to be in. In this case, every time you shut up about a err or wrong belief, you lose.

It's not mutually exclusive being nice and pursuing truth. but If part of LWers downvoted Todd post, is for some reason. Even if the altruistic movement are based in good data.

Making clear, I support 80k, but like any other movement who tried to save the world; takes time to visualize the benefit.

comment by JGWeissman · 2012-08-15T13:04:18.582Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

In some cases, be nice with someone makes them to maintain epistemic states their future self probably not want to be in. In this case, every time you shut up about a err or wrong belief, you lose.

Note that I said "Provided we think they are pursuing their aligned goals effectively, we should be excited about this." I did not see any complaints that they are not pursuing their goals effectively, or that they are in a bad epistemic state.

If part of LWers downvoted Todd post, is for some reason.

Yes, and I have argued that the one articulated reason is not a good one.

comment by Malo (malo) · 2012-08-15T05:27:35.036Z · score: 2 (12 votes) · LW · GW

Upvoted for eloquently expressing what I was thinking when I noticed the post was getting downvoted.

comment by fubarobfusco · 2012-08-16T22:28:57.942Z · score: -1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

It is worthwhile to discuss what sorts of posts are appropriate here, so I am not downvoting this post. However, I disagree with this post, so I am not removing my downvote of the post that it is asking me not to downvote. As it stands, this post is higher-ranked than the post it is asking people not to downvote, so I am guessing at least someone agrees with me.

(Also, I often downvote comments that ascribe too much importance to the voting system or psychoanalyze votes, because I fear it's a meta rat-trap. This comment is one such ... but I can't downvote my own comment. Fortunately, someone has been systematically downvoting me lately, so I can expect this comment to get the -1 I think it deserves. Unfortunately, I also often downvote comments that complain about being downvoted, so it actually deserves -2 according to my own standards, which I couldn't give it even if it wasn't mine.)